BMW’s electric vehicle sales rise, but chip shortage poses challenge


The BMW i4 seen at a BMW press event in Garching, Bavaria on September 29, 2021.

Matthias Balk | image alliance | Getty Images

BMW Group sales of all-electric vehicles rose 121.4% in the first nine months of 2021, reaching 59,688 units, with the German automaker saying on Wednesday that electric mobility “is becoming a growth engine and a driver of increasingly vital success “for the company.

In total, the Munich-based company sold 231,575 all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles between January and September, a jump of 98.9%. By comparison, in the third quarter of 2021 alone, Elon Musk’s Tesla claims to have delivered 241,300 vehicles.

BMW’s electric vehicle figures were contained in a earnings report released on Wednesday. Net profit for the third quarter of 2021 was 2.58 billion euros ($ 2.99 billion), an increase of 42.4%. And this despite a drop in deliveries in its automotive segment of 12.2% compared to the third quarter of 2020.

“In the third quarter of 2021, operations were increasingly impacted by supply bottlenecks for semiconductor components,” the company said. “Although this resulted in production volume shortfalls and lower sales volumes during the period July to September 2021, the impact was more than offset by positive price effects for new vehicles and ‘opportunity.”

Back on the front of electric vehicles, the BMW group wants fully electric vehicles to represent at least 50% of its deliveries by 2030.

BMW is one of the many well-known companies pushing an electrification strategy. In March, Volvo Cars announced its intention to become a “fully electric car company” by 2030.

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In July, the Volkswagen Group said half of its sales are expected to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030. By 2040, the company said nearly 100% of its new vehicles in major markets are expected to be zero emission.

This shift to electric mobility comes at a time when the world’s major economies are trying to reduce the environmental footprint of transport.

The UK, for example, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030. It will require, from 2035, that all new cars and vans have zero tailpipe emissions.

Elsewhere, the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, is targeting a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from cars and vans by 2035.

– CNBC’s Chloe Taylor contributed to this report

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